Despite the periodic rainstorms around the Cape Fear region Wednesday, crowds packed area Chick-fil-A restaurants for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. But the lines of cars had more to do with gay marriage than chicken.
Former presidential candidate-turned radio host Mike Huckabee deemed Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in support of the company CEO's statement recently in support of traditional marriage.
In a blog post, Huckabee encouraged people who believe in marriage between one man and one woman to "affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1."
Though a Chick-fil-A spokesman said Wednesday that the restaurant is not affiliated with Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and would not release official sale numbers.
The N.C. Values Coalition sent out an email campaign encouraging its membership to support Chick-fil-A on Wednesday as well. In the May 8 primary vote, the state's constitutional marriage amendment, Amendment One, passed in New Hanover County by a slim margin of 152 votes. It passed in North Carolina 61 percent to 39 percent.
At the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Mayfaire Commons near Wrightsville Beach, the 11:30 a.m. hour brought an overflowing lot of cars and a line out the parking lot for the drive thru. Plus, visitors parked in surrounding restaurant and bank parking lot streamed across the street to support the restaurant. On a typical Wednesday, the parking lot would still have open spaces before noon.
By 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Chick-fil-A on Oleander Drive still had a double line around the building for the drive-thru, and people waiting in line out the doorway. The usual lunch lines are light around 2 p.m., said manager Shaunetta Hill.
Though it's hard to say exactly how many customers came out because of the company's gay marriage stance, Hill said: "A lot of people are just saying thank you for standing up."
Amanda Greene: 910-520-3958 or